The legendary King Diamond took the stage on the 25th of November at the Filmore in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for an intense show featuring the entire classic Abigail album. This epic show was one of two shows on this tour being filmed for an upcoming DVD, so you knew that King Diamond was going to have an epic stage setup and well as not pulling any punches with his stage crew.
From the opening act, the veteran thrash legends Exodus, the crowd was getting ready to get blown away by King Diamond. As Steve “Zetro” Souza talked about how lucky the Philadelphia crowd was to be present for a DVD filming, the crowd eagerly awaiting the beginning of what would be a legendary concert.
As the crew put the finishing touches on the stage, we got to experience one of Diamond’s nicest stages. While the stage seemed somewhat cramped, there were two stairways leading to a small balcony with room for quite a few band members. Between the stairs sat the drum kit and a little pathway where the band played the majority of the show.
Once the lights went down and the band awaiting the arrival of King Diamond, Grandma was wheeled out on her wheelchair and the band came out for the opening of the how. As the band began the opening of “Welcome Home,” Diamond came out to wheel Grandma to the middle of the stage. As you heard the opening lyrics, you could tell that Diamond was in rare form.
King Diamond sounded better than he has in twenty years. In recent years, Diamond has been criticized for possibly using alternate vocalists for some of the high notes in his songs. While there has never been proof of this, there were plenty of people that believed this. After seeing him live, it really did not look like that was the case. Livia Zita was there for background vocals as she has been for over a decade though. From recent comments, King Diamond says that his voice is the strongest that it has been in decades. That much, I can vouch for after his intense show.
After the opening, Diamond played the live staples of “Sleepless Nights,” “Eye of the Witch” and “Halloween” followed by a small sampling of Mercyful Fate songs. Each song seemed stronger than the last with such a tight band and with Diamond being spot on for every single song.
Much criticism was made about Diamond only playing two Mercyful Fate songs – the staple “Come to the Sabbath” and the title track from the epic Melissa album. With Diamond playing the entire Abigail album, there was not much room for any more Mercyful Fate tracks. While I would have liked to hear more, this was a King Diamond show, so he plays his own songs for the majority of the concert.
After what was a brief opening, Diamond began Abigail in its entirety. This was the second time that I was able to see King Diamond play his best album in full and it was even better than the last time. The dramatic opening was done in full and Diamond belted out classic track after classic track with the highlights of the album being “The 7th Day of July 1777,” “Omens” and “Black Horsemen.” Of course, the entire album as a whole is one of the greatest albums ever recorded, but I had to pick highlights.
The only downside to the concert is the same as every other King Diamond show. The set was short clocking in at under 90 minutes. I assumed that the show would finish after “Black Horsemen” from having experience with his shows in the past, but the seemed rather shocked with the lack of encores.
With that being said, the King is up there in years and is still one of the most vibrant metal musicians out there. With his recent health issues behind him, the legends looks and sounds better than ever.
Also, looking better that ever was longtime actress for King Diamond’s shows Jodi Cachia, who is simply hot and frightening all at the same time. Her movements are all as calculated as Diamond’s every move. If you have never been to a King Diamond show, you need to see it. It is incredible music, but with a show on top of the music. It is a scene that everyone needs to experience.